Student's College Planning Guide

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					Student’s College Planning Guide
Use this checklist to help prepare you for educational opportunities after high school.



In 7th & 8th Grade

    Begin thinking about the high school classes            Take interest and skills assessments to help
    that will prepare you for college. Take the             you think about possible career options.
    most difficult classes you can handle.
                                                            Talk with your school counselor and parents
    Ask your parents, guardians or teachers to              about careers that interest you.
    help you develop good study habits.
                                                            Create a tentative high school class plan.
    Practice setting and reaching goals.
                                                            Enroll in a summer enrichment program.
    Volunteer in your community.


In 9th & 10th Grade

    Take interest and skills assessments to help            Take the PLAN in 10th grade to prepare for
    you explore careers that interest you.                  the ACT, and to identify areas where you need
                                                            improvement.
    Talk with your school counselor about college
    and career options and the education required           Review your high school class plan. Take the
    for those careers.                                      most difficult classes you can handle. Stay
                                                            focused on your schoolwork.
    Talk with your family about paying for college.
                                                            Explore internships and apprenticeships.
    Talk with friends, teachers, counselors and
    your parents about college.                             Enroll in a summer enrichment program.
    Participate in extracurricular activities.              Sign up for classes that will earn you college
                                                            credit during your junior year of high school.


In 11th Grade

    Attend college and financial aid fairs.                 Sign up for classes that will earn you college
                                                            credit during your senior year of high school.
    Mentor others and have a mentor for yourself.
                                                            Take the ACT and/or SAT in the spring.
    Take the PSAT in the fall to prepare for the
    SAT, and to identify areas where you need               Review your high school class plan. Take the
    improvement.                                            most difficult classes you can handle. Stay
                                                            focused on your schoolwork. Make sure you
    Consider possible career options and
                                                            are meeting your high school graduation
    investigate the education that is needed.
                                                            requirements.
    Request materials from schools that interest
                                                            Research your private scholarship options.
    you, and visit their websites.
                                                            Enroll in a summer enrichment program.
    Arrange campus visits to those schools that
    interest you.                                           Get a job to earn and save money for college,
                                                            or explore your skills through an internship or
    Participate in extracurricular activities.
                                                            apprenticeship.
    Request admissions and financial aid forms.




June 2010                                             1                         www.getreadyforcollege.org
In 12th Grade

    Stay focused on your schoolwork and take the         December - February
    most challenging classes you can handle.                Apply to four or more colleges that interest
                                                            you. Some may have earlier or later deadlines.
    Take career interest assessments and
                                                            (Make copies of each application.)
    determine the education needed for careers
    that interest you.                                       Attend a financial aid event.
    Participate in extracurricular activities.               Apply for scholarships offered by the colleges
                                                             to which you have applied.
    Volunteer in the community.
                                                             Apply for financial aid by completing the Free
September - November                                         Application for Federal Student Aid at
   Arrange campus visits to those schools that               www.fafsa.gov as soon as possible after
   interest you. It’s okay to go more than once.             January 1. You and your parents will need the
                                                             previous year’s income tax information to
    Take or retake the ACT and/or SAT.                       complete it.
    Review your high school class plan to make               Review your Student Aid Report (SAR) for
    sure you are on track to graduate.
                                                             accuracy.
    Select the schools to which you will apply.
    Make a list of deadlines for each school.            March - May
                                                            Have your final high school transcript sent to
    Create a resume of your academic, athletic
                                                            the colleges to which you’ve applied.
    and work activities as well as other
    achievements. Prepare a portfolio if you’re              Carefully review and compare the financial aid
    interested in the arts.                                  packages offered by each college to which
                                                             you applied. Each college is different and may
    Ask for recommendations (if required) from               offer you different amounts of different types of
    teachers, counselors and others who can                  aid.
    comment on your abilities and talents.
                                                             Choose a college and notify in writing those
    Attend a financial aid event. Review a copy of           you don’t plan to attend.
    Paying for College: State & Federal Financial
    Aid Guide.                                               Send in any required forms or deposits.
    Sign up for spring classes that will earn you
                                                         Summer
    college credit.
                                                            Get a job to earn money for college.
                                                             Review orientation materials from the college
                                                             you selected.
                                                             If living on campus, check with the college for
                                                             a list of what's provided by the school and
                                                             what the school expects the student to
                                                             provide.
                                                             Contact your roommate.




June 2010                                            2                          www.getreadyforcollege.org